It’s breast cancer awareness month and my treat for you this week is for all of us to remember to support the strong women out there, who a battling this widespread disease.
However, these heart-shaped chewy cookies are also a reminder to practice self-care, love, non-judgement to yourself as a woman, wife and mother. Often women, in particular, feel guilty when they think of providing self-care, as we don’t think of it as the top of our ‘productive’ list. Little do we realise, that it is actually the most productive must-do exercise in your life, having a balance in your self-care routine is key and allowing you to take time out for yourself. Self-care is a productive act that increases your self-knowledge of the goddess you are, increased self-esteem, improves your creativity and clarity of mind that leads to a calmer more balanced you.
Now let’s get cooking!
Yield: Around 12 hearts
FOR THE CHEWY DATE BASE:
1 Cup Large Soft Medjool Dates * remove pips
3 Soaked or soft dried figs
2 Tablespoon Coconut oil
2 Servings of Nuzest Clean Lean Chocolate Protein
1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Walnuts **ideally activated or sprouted
2 Tablespoon of Almond Butter
RAW CHOCOLATE TOPPING:
1 Cup raw Cacao Butter chopped ** see note
1 Cup raw unsweetened cacao powder
1/2 Cup Yacon syrup **see notes
1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
Pinch of Cinnamon
*Optional is to make your own chocolate, or you can use a dark chocolate that is of quality, make sure you avoid commercial milky chocolates as these no longer really have all the good qualities that the actual cacao bean has, cacao is heat sensitive, therefore most cheaper commercially bought chocolates have been heated at extreme temperatures leading to the cacao to become rancid. Plus it has so many other refined sugars and transfers added to it.
When making your own, the key is here not to do it in the microwave, we don’t want to overheat the mix.
**Cacao butter is the fat from the cacao bean, therefore by making our own chocolate we add the cacao extract (powder back) always go for the cold-pressed raw unsweetened organic cacao powder.
First, start by adding the ingredients for the date base into your food processor, simple and easy, first adding the walnuts, chopping them to fine pieces then add your dates and all other ingredients.
Once chopped, you will find a dough-like consistency, this is what you want, if it is too sticky then just add a bit of flaxseed meal or if it is too dry you can add a bit more almond butter.
Start rolling your date dough out until it is even, then take your cookies and press the shapes out. Clear the excess dough like you would with normal cookie dough.
A tip is to sometimes sprinkle a little bit of flaxseed meal or your chocolate protein powder rubbing it onto the wooden board prior to rolling as it prevents the dough from sticking too much.
Once you have all your heart cut out, place them onto a non-stick silicone sheet on a flat surface, cover and put in the freezer whilst you make your chocolate.
DIY YOUR CHOCOLATE:
Melt cacao butter in a bowl of a double boiler
Remove from heat once melted, then start adding your cacao powder, Yacon Syrup along with all the other ingredients.
Mix well. Once mixed allow to sit aside and remove your hearts from the freezer, keep them on the tray they are (as you would have placed your hearts on some sort of silicone mat or wax paper, you can comfortably drizzle the chocolate where your like onto the cookies, pop back into the freezer for 1 hour.
After an hour they are ready, you can store the excess cookies in an airtight container thereafter in your fridge. They keep for up to 1.5 weeks in the fridge.
** YACON SYRUP
I prefer this as it is a form of a LOW GI sweetener, it also contains FOS a form of a prebiotic. Therefore feeding the good bacteria in our gut along with it being a low-calorie sweetener. You also don’t want to overpower the sweetness in the chocolate as the date-base has its own natural sweetness already.
The use of walnuts is key as they are an excellent source of antioxidants that can help fight oxidative damage within our bodies, including damage from “bad” LDL cholesterol, which promotes atherosclerosis. The papery texture of walnuts contains a high amount of polyphenols (Vit E as well as melatonin).
Several plant compounds and nutrients in walnuts may help decrease inflammation